How to Attract and Retain Talent for Your Data and Analytics Team

December 06, 2021

Contributor: Laurence Goasduff

Changing corporate culture and seeking out talent you might not have previously considered are among the solutions D&A leaders can examine.

To efficiently and successfully implement D&A strategies, you need a variety of talent on your team. However, the number of employees leaving their jobs is increasing, and while the demand for roles such as data scientists, data architects and data engineers is high, these skill sets remain in short supply.

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“Sourcing talent from consulting providers can be a quick fix, but changing how you attract and retain is a long-term fix,” says Gartner VP Analyst Jorgen Heizenberg. 

Seek talent diversity

You might entice new D&A talent from outside your organization by hiring atypical or neurodiverse talent, who are often highly logical and analytical, or boost strong pattern recognition and mathematics skills. By 2024, Gartner estimates that 80% of large-enterprise CIOs will have a neurodiversity talent strategy, and that neurodiverse employees will comprise 3% to 5% of their IT workforces. 

Become human-centric

Creating an attractive corporate culture that prioritizes employees as humans first also offers the potential to reel in talent. You might, for example, enable employees to learn skills that are useful outside of the organization and show concern for their families and personal lives. 

Remember that work-life balance has become more important as employees get more accustomed to hybrid and remote working options. Because they increasingly value remote-work flexibility, it is incumbent upon all leaders to explore remote or hybrid work as a long-term or permanent option, and make location flexibility explicit in job postings.

Drive cultural change

With the emergence of ethical artificial intelligence (AI), which builds trust in AI solutions, explainability, accountability and ethics, there have been calls for data and analytics leaders, including the CDO, to foster more ethical cultures. You do that by supporting your and your employees’ personal values and morals, and devoting your time to improving the social purpose of data for good, a movement in which people and organizations transcend organizational boundaries to use data to better society.

Don’t forget about retention

Once you’ve found good talent, focus on retention by developing programs for data literacy that help improve D&A understanding among your team. Explore training programs that reskill and upskill employees not only for role-specific technical skills and certifications, but also for soft skills such as collaboration or storytelling. Actively track and score talent well-being against these efforts.

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